BMC cancer

Childhood cancer mortality in Japan, 1980-2013.

PMID 26026605


This study aimed to provide an updated analysis of childhood cancer mortality rates and long-term trends to 2013 to describe the current level of deaths and identify changes in recent decades. Data on number of deaths from cancer in children aged under 15 years were derived from Vital Statistics in Japan and the World Health Organization (WHO) mortality database for comparison countries. Trends in mortality were examined by fitting a joinpoint regression model. For all cancers combined, the mortality rate during 2010-2013 was 19.9 per 1,000,000 population for boys and 17.5 for girls in Japan. Mortality from all cancers combined decreased significantly from 1980 to 2003 for boys and from 1980 to 2001 for girls. Afterwards, the rates remained stable for both sexes. Mortality from leukemia declined over the entire study period by 4.6% per year (p<0.05) in boys and 4.3% per year (p<0.05) in girls. For central nervous system (CNS) tumors, a slight increase in mortality was observed for both sexes, with a statistically significant annual percent change (APC) of 0.5% (p<0.05) for boys and 0.6% (p<0.05) for girls. We provided updated information on recent trends of childhood cancer death. The establishment of a nationwide, childhood cancer registry is required in Japan. Moreover, trends in cancer mortality should be monitored continuously.